Friday, September 29
Two weeks later and I now have a new windshield, hood and headlight.
In other news, Bryan thinks I'm getting obsessed with baking bread. Moi? Obsessed? Just because I said I was going to read every word on every page of this bread book before I mixed flour and water again? I thought that given how many of my loaves have met their maker, and then been thrown on the compost pile, it was a good idea. He assures me he agrees.
I already know a couple of places I went wrong:
1. FLOUR. I was using regular ordinary Pillsbury Flour from the grocery store. Apparently this is a big mistake as only stone ground organic flour will give you the good tasting old world style breads that I want to make.
2. Temperature! Temperature! Temperature! Apparently this whole baking thing is a VERY PRECISE science, involving not only measuring spoons (which were only added to my repoirte in the past year) but also thermometers. In order to get the yeast to behave just right, it's important to have the correct temperatures for the flour, water and air. Not to mention factoring in you friction factor (which is how much the dough is heated by your individual kneading style). Yikes! So I can't say exactly where I went wrong in the past because all I have is a candy thermometer, and I only used that for the water (with the thinking, 'well it's within 10 degrees of what the package says, that should be fine')
3. Baking Sheet. Silly me for thinking I could use a cooking sheet to bake bread. No in fact I need a piece of stone or brick or tiles to get the crust nice and crunchy.
These things will be gathered before my next attempt. I'll keep you all posted, as I'm sure you're all routing for me right? right? Come'on you know I'm going to show up to the holidays with a loaf of bread, and if I don't have your moral support it will be inedible. Just be glad you're not my guinea pig - I mean husband.